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  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from Ym1r »
    Quote from gkourou »
    So, Spirits would probably play Stoneforge Mystic, right? Opinions on that?
    If the card goes into a Tier 1 deck, that might be a concern for Wizards.
    Absolutely. I see no reason why Spirits wouldn't run SFM.
    It doesn't fly, it doesn't affect the board, it doesn't remove blockers, it doesn't synergize with anything else in the deck, the equipment is mostly dead outside of drawing stoneforge herself, it doesn't speed up the aggro clock, it doesn't meaningfully benefit from phantasmal image or any of the Lord effects, it can't be meaningfully cast off their tribal lands (is not a spirit), and the deck would need to completely rework its manabase to accommodate the W needed to activate her ability. It would only be played if the deck transforms into some random amalgamation mid-range deck, and not Spirits tribal.


    All of this is true, plus the fact that the ~3 slots dedicated to the Equipment will make CoCos that much worse. SFM seems a much better fit in straight UW Spirits; she will probably only see sustained play in Bant Spirits if her power level proves to be significantly higher in the format than most people here are predicting.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    The notion that any Modern deck is brain-dead, point-and-click, or bestows nothing but free wins upon its pilots is obviously ridiculous. This game is incredibly complex! Every deck has its foibles and nuances, its hidden tricks and unorthodox lines, its spicy fringe side tech for certain metagames; every deck provides dedicated pilots room for growth while rewarding experience and mastery. People denying this are either lazy thinkers who unwittingly broadcast their lack of understanding about the format; or, they are employing hyperbole and logical fallacies in order to air their particular grievances. Regardless, this type of commentary is inaccurate and unproductive, and I love to see people pushing back against it.

    That said, the idea that every Modern deck is just as challenging to pilot optimally as the next one—which is a subtext found within the arguments of some who fight back against the erroneous thinking mentioned above—is also obviously incorrect. GDS has been the focal point of the last few pages and it’s the perfect example of what I mean. It’s just not true that most Modern decks require their pilots to make as many difficult decisions in an average game as a GDS pilot is required to make. The GDS discard decisions alone arguably rival all of the decisions made in an entire game by some of the format’s most linear decks...then when you begin to factor in developing the board vs holding up counters, which cards to delve away, when to go all-in on TBR, and of course the infamously difficult aspect of managing life totals unique to Shadow decks, etc...well, it’s really no contest.

    I say this only to remind everyone that nuance and accuracy are necessary to foster the sort of productive discussion that can help make our format better. The radically dismissive mindset that “x deck could be played by a monkey” and the radically subjectivist mindset that “all decks are more or less equally difficult and rewarding of mastery” are two sides of the same coin IMO...and perhaps more importantly, the presence of one type of argument encourages people who disagree to make the other type of argument.

    Anyway, this whole subject is a bit of a bugbear for me. Generally, in life as a whole, it’s bizarre to me how much time people spend communicating, but how imprecise and counterproductive that communication tends to be! Truly a strange phenomenon, if you ask me. Smile
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Golgari Midrange vs Grixis Shadow in the finals! <3

    No video coverage. </3
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    Reid Duke and Jabberwocki have elected not to play any Assassin Trophies in their decks. It's too tempo negative.


    From memory, Reid was on a 2/2/2 Trophy/Decay/Pulse split when he released his Golgari video. The Jund video he released yesterday was recorded pre-GRN, thus the lack of Trophy.


    As someone who basically plays Golgari Midrange in Modern to the exclusion of all else, I’d like to jump into the the “BGx is bad” discussion that’s been laced intermittently throughout the last several pages of this thread.

    Lack of card selection is the great Achilles heel of the archetype; that is no secret. Cards like Grim Flayer and Traverse the Ulvenwald are too conditional, and too easily rendered toothless by both soft and hard forms of hate, relative to their mediocre ceiling. I think we just have to accept that card selection is not a tool that’s reasonably available to us—so how do we compete in Modern?

    Well, first off we have to make sure we aren’t losing to our own deck. For now, this means playing only 2 colors IMHO. Fetch+Shock damage, Blood Moon, natural colorscrew...all of these risk factors are heavily mitigated with a 2c landbase, which also just so happens to comfortably leverage 2-4 Fields of Ruin and ~6 basic lands, giving the deck a huge amount of intrinsic value when competing on that axis.

    Restricting ourselves to just the two core colors also means that the specific spells in our 75 are a lot more flexible. Golgari can easily support 4 Nihil Spellbombs, 3 Scavenging Oozes, and 1x each of Kalitas, Grafdigger’s Cage, and Surgical Extraction, which is what my current build runs. If the meta is extremely grindy it can support 4x each of Bob and Tracker. If Burn is king it’s not unreasonable to register 4x Brutality and 2x Finks is your 75.

    I could go on, but the salient point is that our lack of card selection can only really be mitigated by playing a high density of whatever cards are most needed to survive against Modern’s linear insanity, and a two-color shell provides the most stable and painless base upon which to build a 75 that’s capable of interacting while keeping pace with the meta.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The Rock
    An awesome primer. Many thanks. Love having a place where Rock enthusiests can get together and ask questions, debate, and improve. Rock, Jund, Abzan.., all part of the same family.

    I would recommend both new and experienced to tune into Mtg Grim Flayer on Youtube and watch the matchups and play patterns. It is incredibly good content for the Modern Rock player.


    Thanks man, and it's great to see you on here!


    Just had two games against Dredge: on the play both games, T2 Scooze both games, completely painless lands with access to GGG on T3 both games...aaaaand I got absolutely run over with no chance whatsoever both games. Pretty frustrating stuff, but I won't read much into it that we don't already know.

    That said, how have people's experiences been with maindeck Spellbombs? I've been less than satisfied with including them main in the past--despite their high floor they can still be annoyingly clunky--but I'm certainly willing to revisit the notion. 1 main/3 side is what I'm leaning toward, any thoughts?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    For what it's worth, the deck still feels very blue! Blue-red is much more tempo-y than other builds though (at least the way that I built it), so you do need to assess if you're the beatdown more often than with more controlling builds.


    Oh, without doubt. The soul and core of the deck is still as blue as they come. Speaking of which, your build is very cool. Gelectrode is spice.

    I had a chance to watch your debut video. Great work! Your voice suits the job very well, and you’re top class when it comes to explaining the less than obvious lines in a thorough but coherent manner. The amount of these that you saw over the course of the league was very impressive, and your talent as a pilot is obvious. That said, it almost seemed as though you were the victim of your own next-level insights in places, with one or two misclicks which surely would not have happened if you weren’t trying to explain complex lines while playing. No worries here; these will surely lessen with time as live commentating becomes second nature. (I’m a replay guy so I’m fortunate enough to not have this issue, otherwise you’d probably see 10x as many brain farts and misclicks from me!)

    It must also be said that fortune was truly not with you over the league as a whole. After basically every match I was thinking “damn, pretty rough beats there, unlucky”. Not much you can do about that! But your build’s potential is clearly huge. Did this league make you rethink any slots, or was this just one among many testing sessions?

    @zcowan: I do hope to return to cranking out Turns content in the not-too-distant future; but truthfully, at the moment, Golgari is where it’s at in terms of where my channel growth and Patreon support is coming from, and the variety of Rock builds is the subject of as much contention as splash colors and 75s here! Lots to still figure out as far as optimization goes.

    I absolutely encourage you to give streaming/recording a shot if you think it’s something you’ll enjoy! You’ve got a subscriber in me.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Great posts, Hype_rion and Akalah. I don’t have much more to add. The crux of the matter IMO is that one no longer “needs” to splash a third color in order to achieve peak BGx competitiveness; and, when that splash color is no longer necessitated, it’s amazing how swiftly it can become a liability relative to the clean and painless consistency offered by a 2c deck.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Quote from LennX »
    Quote from Grim_Flayer »
    Finally, I’d like to get some more Turns content up on the YouTube channel and at this point I wouldn’t mind taking someone else’s list for a spin, or at least using it as a starting point. Anyone been crushing it lately with a monoblue list? Can’t justify buying into a splash color at the moment.

    Apologies for the wall of text! Hope you’re all doing well.


    Mono U turns are pretty stock. My mono U list has 68/75 cards with your list. Maybe trying out a splash with cards that you currently have be better?

    My SB has grafdiggers and relic. Mainly to stop coco and vizer decks. I'm looking for ways to stop spirits with Mono U but its pretty atrocious currently. I'm on a 2-11 losing streak against both UW and bant spirits currently.

    I will be testing out Sphinx of the Final Word but I've a feeling it is still too slow


    Yeah, Spirits seem to be a real hurdle, especially for monoU. Unfortunately, I don't happen to own much in the way of anything splashable...the consequences of too much wheeling and dealing with spare cards! Grin

    Quote from zcowan »
    @Grim Flayer, if that is a wall of text for you.. then you are going soft Wink haha


    Ha! True enough.

    I haven't been playing as much lately (maybe 2 to 3 times a month with the deck) but have noticed that the format is getting to a point of diversity that is hard to answer in one color.
    I think in pervious metas there was a dominant type like control where there were a lot of top tier decks but jeskai/UW/Death Shadow stood out. Or aggro/creature based decks were the leaders of the format. During those times I think mono blue shined better because you could kind of get away with hedging the sideboard to favor in those matchups. I think now there is too much diversity with a lot of decks all being really good.

    Adding a color splash definitely feels right from my testing, but I totally understand not wanting to invest money into it at the moment.
    I actually had a friend over and I had sleeved black/white/red variants and play tested them against proxied matchups and found red and black to be about even in the games we played. White was a little less favored in specific matchups (especially in UW control/Jeskai where the sideboard lacked strong resources other than additional counter magic) I think in those matchups red was more favored just because bolt adds a faster clock.
    I think I liked the UB variant a little more and it suited my play style though because fatal push is an incredibly reliable creature removal spell and having access to thought seize and inquisition as well as surgical extraction seems to be a useful strategy right now. That along with Bontu's last reckoning kind of worked as a strong sideboard that hit all of the bases.

    These are my opinions as of recently, but I am always up for debate! Like I said, these come from two days of playing magic to get away from the constant studying of nursing school lol so it isn't like it is a month of playing or anything like that by any means


    You might be right, Z. A combination of speed, linearity, and diversity in the format is doing monoU no favors.

    Quote from Grim_Flayer »
    I was thinking about trying out some of the maindeck Thing builds—perhaps with Mission Briefing—that I saw a few pages back, but the most recent posts ITT have me wondering whether splashing a color has become obligatory. I sure hope not, but at the same time I don’t wish to deny reality. Any thoughts?

    Finally, I’d like to get some more Turns content up on the YouTube channel and at this point I wouldn’t mind taking someone else’s list for a spin, or at least using it as a starting point. Anyone been crushing it lately with a monoblue list? Can’t justify buying into a splash color at the moment.

    Apologies for the wall of text! Hope you’re all doing well.
    Hey Grim_Flayer! In my opinion, the splashes are stronger in an open meta than any mono-blue list. Like you said, there's a lot of hostile decks like Infect or Hardened Scales, and mono-U doesn't have great tools to deal with them. Of course, mono-U is still powerful to do well in a local meta that has more favorable matchups, but I don't think it's the best choice for taking into Magic Online.

    That said, your post and your channel inspired me to start making some content, so here's a Competitive Modern League with UR Turns. I'm open to suggestions on improvement (both in terms of deck construction or gameplay, and in terms of video creation), so let me know any feedback!


    Wow, man, this is exiting stuff! I was feeling a little guilty lately, having started off my channel playing Golgari and Turns about equally, and then not releasing any Turns content for a long while...but now the burden has been lifted. I withdraw in the presence of the master. Grin But for real, when I get the time to watch the league I'll be certain to give you my thoughts! Very happy to see our archetype's most recognizable player establish a presence on youtube.

    Quote from zcowan »
    Alright so in testing I played each variant against: Elves, Burn, Humans, UW, Jeskai, Storm, and Mardu.. sadly I don't own Spirits completely yet..

    • In that I would rate UR as being the best version currently as Bolt makes the deck a lot more aggro as you have mentioned. You are definitely able to close the game out quickly when you start chaining snapcaster mages and lightning bolts. I only had 3 snapcaster because my fourth is lost in an EDH deck somewhere so I used a 3/1 split with mission briefing and it actually worked really nicely. The surveil mechanic is definitely powerful, and being able to dig for things is always good in this deck. My only concerns with this version are: 1) Red lacks a guaranteed creature removal similar to path or fatal push. Pyroclasm/Anger of the Gods/Bolt all rely on the creatures having 3 toughness or less; and 2) You can't run Chalice of the Void anymore really.. I think that card is so good in this deck
    • In second place I would put UB. Fatal push is really strong and I like having Thoughtseize/Inquisition as sideboard options. A lot of the decks in the format right now are easily crippled by hand removal which is proven by the success of GB Rock (@GrimFlayer)
    • Lastly, White splash has the best sideboard options but that doesn't make it good right now. From testing path is really bad.

    That's kind of what I have going right now.. Working on an excel spreadsheet of sideboard options. Tried experimenting with Geist and there seems to be some promise there


    That's a pretty rough collection of matchups in general, so the fact that you came out feeling optimistic about any variant is a great sign.

    Red, eh? A few months back I was pretty convinced UR wasn't where we wanted to be; but times change, and perhaps I was even wrong back then.

    If so, that'll be a bitter pill to swallow. I hate red. Smile

    (Last call on foils, btw! Tomorrow I'll begin listing them.)
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Quote from RegurKenaid »
    How do you play vs Hardened Affinity? Deck is a pain in the ass. Hard to deal with all that stuff.


    This matchup is one of many, many reasons my sideboard looks the way it does, aka with lots of catch-all or highly flexible removal pieces which have x-for-1 potential.

    Kalitas, Maelstrom Pulse, Golgari Charm, and Engineered Explosives are all hugely impactful against Scales. You’ll usually want to take away their namesake card ASAP, be it with removal or discard, and other than that: try to keep the board as clear as possible while sticking an early threat and/or planeswalker.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Yep, it looks that way. I will say that there are a fair number of common sequences with this deck wherein doing so isn't as punishing as it might seem; but still, I don't think that some of these mana bases are really anywhere close to objectively correct.

    Twilight Mire or Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth do seem like necessities in these sorts of builds, that's for certain. Urborg lets you cast T1 discard/Push (and also gives you sweet evasion in conjuction with Funeral Charm, lol), while Mire doesn't risk fixing the opponent's B mana or turning on Swampwalk from opposing Street Wraiths, and it also allows you to filter in the opposite direction, whether you're stranded on G sources or just want another Scooze activation. Either one is very playable IMO, but I still see them as something of a necessary evil brought about by overly greedy choices elsewhere in the list. But time will tell how viable these setups are!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Hey all! Checking back in with this thread and it’s going to be a long post ahead—so, fair warning, lol.

    Firstly, I must admit that I haven’t been tweaking and refining my Turns list at all; since SCG ‘Cuse, I’ve been all-in on Golgari. That said, I was very confident in my Turns list just a month or two ago, but nowadays, when I pick it back up for a change of pace, I’m having significantly worse results than I used to. It seems like the meta has become a lot more hostile, with Infect a significant presence again and decks like Tron and UWC having taken a minor downturn, to name just two factors. While Dredge is not a bad matchup in and of itself, its influence on the meta does not seem to have worked to our benefit. It’s been discouraging to say the least, particularly in contrast to my results on Golgari, which have been consistently stellar.

    I was thinking about trying out some of the maindeck Thing builds—perhaps with Mission Briefing—that I saw a few pages back, but the most recent posts ITT have me wondering whether splashing a color has become obligatory. I sure hope not, but at the same time I don’t wish to deny reality. Any thoughts?

    On a related note, I have no intentions of selling out of this deck or anything, but I maayyyy have been a little overzealous in aggressively beginning to foil it out. Grin I simply don’t get to play paper often enough to justify having two decks filled with shiny cards, and with UMA about to bring us those BGx borderless reprints...well, I think the time has come to part with my foil copies of Turns cards. I mention this here just because I wouldn’t mind giving anyone here who’s interested in foiling their deck a decent hookup. My list can be found here: https://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/established-modern/combo/768745-taking-turns?page=109#c2186 . Just about everything there is foiled, with a few exceptions (Time Warps, Gigadrowses, Exhaustions, Chalices). PM me if you’re interested! I’ll hold off for a week on listing them elsewhere to give people ITT a chance to get at me.

    Finally, I’d like to get some more Turns content up on the YouTube channel and at this point I wouldn’t mind taking someone else’s list for a spin, or at least using it as a starting point. Anyone been crushing it lately with a monoblue list? Can’t justify buying into a splash color at the moment.

    Apologies for the wall of text! Hope you’re all doing well.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Yeah, great results for our deck lately. We seem to be steadily cementing a strong place in the meta post-Trophy.

    Very interesting 2nd place list from the SCG Modern Challenge as well:

    http://www.starcitygames.com/decks/125203
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Fantastic job, Delver! Like VidarThor, I’m not having any luck reading some of these sections on mobile; still, what I can read is fantastic, the aesthetics of the layout are on point, and the splitting off of Rock from Abzan in and of itself is great for fostering innovation.

    I’ll get back to you with more detailed feedback once I’m able to sit down at a PC and read it top to bottom, but until then, thanks for all of your hard work.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Abzan
    Quote from FlyingDelver »
    I am excited to announce that I was given the opportunity to write as guest author at MTGRock.com going onward! I am deeply humbled by that offer. As my first article I have a reworked and polished version of my article of "how to build consistant manabases for GBx decks" from reddit to share with you guys. I hope it can be of some help for you!

    Play Patterns: Building A Consistant Manabase for GBx decks.

    Cheers,

    FlyingDelver


    Well done, and congrats! I’ve always liked mtgrock.com. You’ll be a great addition to their stable of writers.

    Looking forward to the separation of the primers as well. If you need any help with this, don’t hesitate to reach out.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 01/10/2018)
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    I don't think SFM does much for the format...

    Maybe the meta slows down for a bit, people comment that the SFM naysayers were wrong, and then it speeds up hyper efficiently again.

    I do think seeing Stirrings at that high of a percentage is problematic. I have Tron tucked away as it's a good deck to own so the ban would hurt me. I wonder if the deck could function at tier 1 without it?


    I’d say so. History has shown that Tron is simply here to stay, it seems, no matter what (within reason) pieces of anti-Tron technology are introduced into the format.

    Taking away a core component of Tron is different than printing hate for the archetype, of course, but the salient point here is that the deck’s resilience seems to consistently outstrip the community’s expectations.

    Besides, Oath of Nissa does a reasonable Stirrings impression, and one that could be argued is more in line with the power level of other Modern cantrips, whereas Stirrings is something of an outlier. In fact, Oath is a reasonable enough card that Tron may well be hurt less by a theoretical Stirrings ban than any other tiered Stirrings deck.


    On another note, on the heels of this highly non-interactive GP Top 32 (and assuming for the sake of argument a relatively non-interactive meta game for the near future), does anyone think a deck like Cheeri0s is a good meta call right now? And are there any other under-the-radar combo decks, even if they’re janky or still in the brewing stages, which may fall apart to interaction but can otherwise successfully race the Dredges, Trons, and Storms of the format? I’m an all-in BGx main but wouldn’t mind exploring something in the vein of what I just outlined as a secondary deck, even if it means getting in on the ground floor of a sketchy brew, lol.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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